Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Hiding in plain sight

UPDATED x1 below

Miami Herald front page -
Aug. 7, 2012.
It was right there on the front page of Tuesday's Miami Herald ... a story with a headline so big and bold it was impossible to miss: $14 million in prescription drugs had been stolen from the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center over a three-year period.

The Herald's John Dorschner reported: "Pharmacy technician Manuel Gerardo Pacheco — who seemed to be “living beyond his means,” investigators said later — was charged with four counts of grand theft, two counts of trafficking in contraband prescription drugs and one count of dealing in stolen property."

Another Miami story of greed and dishonesty.

Along with Dorschner's report, the Herald posted video surveillance footage that showed Pacheco allegedly stealing the drugs...guaranteeing that local TV news outlets would cover the story on their evening newscasts.

And sure enough, the story made the top of the 5 and 6pm newscasts at every station in town.

But here's what every TV reporter covering the story missed: Dorschner reported the news of Pacheco's 2011 arrest more than a week earlier as part of an exhaustive 3,400 word piece on the troubles besetting UM's Miller School of Medicine. Dorschner's story took up two full inside pages of the Herald's Sunday, July 29th issue.

But he didn't mention the news of Pacheco's 2011 arrest until somewhere around the 50th paragraph of his detailed story...thus assuring that no one in Miami's ADD-afflicted TV "journalism" community would pick up on it.

(TV reporters' eyes will almost always glaze over if they're handed any kind document containing more than 5 or 6 paragraphs.)

Miami Herald, page 23A, July 29, 2012.

Footnote: CBS4, NBC Miami and WSVN, all credited the Herald with breaking the story.

Only Local 10's Sasha Andrade failed to mention where she got her story.


UPDATE: CBS4 news director Liz Roldan admits TV news can't do an important story unless there are pictures to go with it. Or put another way, TV news is all about style and not much substance.

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